Woodstock is the fourth oldest town in Virginia. Woodstock is the county seat of Shenandoah County. Steeped in history, the town was home to the famed Revolutionary Peter Muhlenberg, who came in 1772 to serve as a Lutheran pastor. He is most remembered for his fiery 1776 sermon in which he called his congregation to arms casting away his robes to reveal his uniform for the Continental Army proclaiming there is “a time to pray and a time to fight and now is a time to fight.”
Taken from: townofwoodstockva.com/DocumentCenter/View/603/Woodstock-Brochure-PDF?bidId
In 1912, Mabel Lee Walton, Mary Newman, Margaret and Olivia Magruder, Nance Clower and Nell Wunder were part of a group of ladies that formed the Shenandoah Spirited Sisters (S.S.S.). In 1928, they decided to make books more available to the public. The Magruder sisters offered the free use of an upstairs room of a building they owned on the corner of Main and Court Streets. An annual membership fee of $1.50, along with donations, was used to purchase books. In November of 1928, the Library was open for two hours Saturday afternoons and one hour Tuesday evenings. The original members were all native Woodstock Ladies except for Phyllis Taylor Bauserman, who moved to Woodstock as a bride.
By July 1930, they had 900 volumes and were adding an average of 20 books a month. A friend of Phyllis Bauserman, Mrs. Donald Cammann, who lived in New York City and worked as a literary agent, selected and sent the library 15-25 books each month for 21 years. This necessitated a move to a larger location. They moved to two rooms at the west end of Lawyer’s Row where they remained until 1951. In 1947, the name was changed to Shenandoah Library Club and there were 22 members. In 1951, they moved to three rooms on the upper floor of the town office building on West Court Street.
In November of 1952, the Shenandoah Library Club was incorporated as a non-profit organization with a new constitution and by-laws, increasing membership to 30 members. Their financial worries were alleviated in 1958 when Mrs. Cammann died and left the Library $10,000.
In 1967, the Library purchased the Marshall house on Church Street with Phyllis Bauserman putting up collateral for a loan. About 8,000 volumes were moved in to the new, remodeled Library.
In the fall of 1967, the Library was open Tuesday and Friday, from 7 to 8 p.m., Thursday, from 11-1 p.m. and Saturday, from 3-5 p.m. Thirty members paid $5 a year and volunteered their time to run the library. Cardholders paid an annual fee of $1.50.
When Phyllis Bauserman died in 1974, she bequeathed to the Library $20,000 plus a large block of Coca-Cola stock.
The Library gradually grew and became more professional, with the Dewey Decimal system put in use and the books catalogued. In 1986, the Library expanded with an addition on the rear of the building and in 1996 the first floor was extended, and a second floor and an elevator were added. The Library was computerized in 2010.
Today, the Woodstock Library is free to all who live in Shenandoah County and is run totally by volunteers